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From Barnsley to Manchester United and Leeds. Memories of Brian Greenhoff aged 11

The long road. By Jake

The sad, early death of Brian Greenhoff took Ken Gambles back half a century to the makeshift pitch on South Yorkshire wasteland where the future star paraded his precocious skills. Greenhoff went on to play more than 290 times for Manchester United and Leeds United and 18 times for England. He ended his career as […]

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Salut! Sunderland’s end-of-season reviews: (6) Doors to the past close, another opens …

Jake and the final analysis

Ken Gambles is a regular contributor to Salut! Sunderland. He has endured worse than the season just gone, enough to enable him to pinpoint Sunderland’s varied failings but also to hope for a better future as the PDC broom sweeps clean(ish). This is Ken’s review of a season in which, as Gambles go (sorry, Ken!), […]

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Sunderland, Leeds and Wembley 1973. Part 7: when (nearly) all the world loved us

From an old birthday card sent to Monsieur Salut

Memories keep flooding back. If you’re old enough, they are your own, If not, you’ve had them handed down. Even Sunderland supporters well under 40 have a clear notion of what is must have been like – what it was like – 40 years ago today, Ken Gambles, from the first category, offers his own […]

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Gambles’ Rambles: referees, inconsistency and final hooters to call time

Another of Jake's Salut! banners

Ken Gambles came up with one the ideas of 2011, the mandatory wearing of bright pink mittens by shirt-pullers and goggles by divers. Sadly, no manufacturer could be found to guarantee keeping up with the likely demand and members of the National Union of Football Divers, Shirt-Pullers and Injury-Feigners besieged Parliament in their thousands. Now, […]

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Gambles rambles: reasons to be cheerful

SAFC FlagNS

It is a constant moan from many of us who have been watching football for decades that “fings ain’t wot they used to be” but Ken Gambles reminds us that there are still friendships to be formed and fun to be had whoever you support. I must admit that the recent (now resolved) faux-pas by […]

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Grounds for divorce: Everton, Leeds and West Ham share the dishonours

Another of Jake's Salut! banners

Ken Gambles gets around. Sunderland support has taken him all over the country. Worst ground, offering grounds for divorce after a lifelong love affair with football? The old Den probably took the biscuit for Monsieur Salut – a demoralising experience that had you questioning your own sanity for being there – and if we are […]

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SAFC v Republic of Ireland: an unforgettable night with Niall, minus Keane

Beauty of Sunderland: Mrs Logic

In the latest edition of Gambles’ Rambles, our regular contributor Ken Gambles pondered the worthy title ‘a reflective narrative on the role of altruism in a capitalist hegemony’ before deciding: ‘Nah, just a memory of Quinny’s testimonial.’ Monsieur Salut remembers it, too, as the game for which he bought a ticket knowing he had no […]

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Gambles’ Rambles: West Ham clearcut enough, but resolve the playoff follies

Ken Gambles: was PDC so bad?

Not really an end-of-term review, though it starts that way, so the morning after more playoff games seems as good a time as any to throw open the Salut! Sunderland floor once again to Ken Gambles. It also gives readers another chance to stand up for, or slag off, West Ham: my wager is they’ll […]

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Gambles’ Rambles: recalling another spelling test Harry Redknapp, aged 2+, failed

Ken Gambles: was PDC so bad?

It was while waiting to be released from the Riverside after a hard-fought but deserved win against the Boro that Ken Gambles learned, thanks to the scoreboard, that Fabio Capello had resigned. It set him thinking … (more…)

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How to end gamesmanship and cheating: pink mittens and goggles

Ken Gambles*, a stalwart of the North Yorkshire branch of the Sunderland AFC Supporters’ Association, casts a whimsical eye over footballers’ habits he’d go to unusual lengths to stamp out … Despite being a traditionalist. I amazed myself at how quickly I came to adapt to the back-pass law, penalty shoot-outs and even Sky’s razzmatazz. […]

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The bookies say Sunderland, Barnsley, Charlton, Portsmouth, Luton and Scunthorpe. What about you?

McCormick's Craic(featured image) full size 640 x 138

And so we have it: the fixtures are out. You’ll be getting your fill of dates, and conjecture from all […]

Alim Ozturk gets the traditional Salut! Sunderland welcome

Just a few of Jake's generic Salut! Sunderland images ...

No time for much else, but Salut! Sunderland could not let the signing of Alim Ozturk – our first acquisition […]

Charlton at home to start. Seaside promotion party at Southend to finish?

Just a few of Jake's generic Salut! Sunderland images ...

Monsieur Salut introduces the full fixtures list for next season, starting with Charlton at home, remembers an ambitious pre-match request […]

World Cup Diaries: (4) Moscow en fête as Russians celebrate another big win

Andy Falconer: 'I love Sunderland really'

Our Boro-suppporting World Cup diarist – Monsieur Salut’s nephew, Andy Falconer – changes city. After revealing in the beauty of […]

Sunderland’s Spanish conquest: ‘the essence of English football in its purest sense’

Jake: 'when will we next see sunny times for Sunderland AFC?'

This well-researched and, for Sunderland fans, heartwarming slice of football history was written by David Hewitt, a PhD researcher in […]

The Paddy McNair question and the ins and outs of squad rebuilding at Sunderland

One that was made earlier. Nic, left, with Claire, from outside the Fulwell

This tweet, from a Twitter contact (we follow each other), caught the attention. Well Mr Paddy McNair I do not […]